Strip it back and the dating market is the same as any other: it’s about two parties coming together to make a mutually beneficial exchange, whether that is phone numbers, wedding rings, or, erm, something else. The basic premise is that if sellers can evaluate the quality of a used car but buyers can’t, the likely outcome is that both buyers and sellers know that only the most awful cars will be traded in the market.Everyone will assume that the only reason you’re selling the car is because it’s a dud; and genuine sellers with decent offerings know they won’t get the price they deserve, so never bother. And so it is with online dating: you’re less likely to be interested in someone who seems reluctant to share information about themself.
And who better to ask for dating advice than economists? One famous economic model throws harsh light on the basic problem of any type of dating: information. This is the ‘Lemons problem’, a famous economic idea first proposed in the 1970s by George Akerlof, about cars, not citrus fruit.The idea of the woman choosing expressed in the proposal is a resilient one.The woman picking among suitors is a rarely reversed archetype of romantic love that you'll find everywhere from Jane Austen to Obviously, this is simplified—in contemporary life, both sides get plenty of chances to be selective. The dating world is a market and markets are what economists know best.Sponsored Products are advertisements for products sold by merchants on